Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. The university I work for produces a magazine and I am charged with organizing our faculty scholarship and honors into Chicago style. Unfortunately, it seems that every faculty member uses a different style and I spend days trying to get journal articles, books, and papers that they have written into a clear format as well as speeches, talks, honors, and awards. Do you have any advice with regard to tackling this? It seems I can never get everything in the correct style format.

A. Welcome to the world of copyediting. It does often seem overwhelming, and the kind of project you describe, where items have been styled by many different people, can be time-consuming to edit. It takes patience and organization. Keep a style sheet with examples of each type of citation, and follow it each time you come to a similar item. If this is a huge project that will never end, you might consider developing a form for faculty to update once a year, where the fields for author, title, and so forth are arranged in the order you prefer. Better yet, if you have the resources, organize it online, so others do the typing for you. Finally, let me assure you that in time the most common formats (books, chapters, journal articles) will become familiar, and you won’t have to think so much about how to do what.